Airbus announced Feb. 14 that it is terminating the Airbus A380 program in 2021, after Emirates cut back the last major order to just 14 A380s, instead of the 53 that it had on firm order.
The Emirates order now comprises 40 A330-900s and 30 A350-900s, according to a new heads of terms agreement.
“As a result of this decision, we have no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production, despite all our sales efforts with other airlines in recent years. This leads to the end of A380 deliveries in 2021,” Airbus CEO Tom Enders said. “The consequences of this decision are largely embedded in our 2018 full-year results.”
“The A380 is not only an outstanding engineering and industrial achievement. Passengers all over the world love to fly on this great aircraft. Hence today’s announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide. But, keep in mind that A380s will still roam the skies for many years to come and Airbus will of course continue to fully support the A380 operators,” Enders added.
“Emirates has been a staunch supporter of the A380 since its very inception,” Emirates chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said. “While we are disappointed to have to give up our order, and sad that the program could not be sustained, we accept that this is the reality of the situation. For us, the A380 is a wonderful aircraft loved by our customers and our crew. It is a differentiator for Emirates.” According to Al Maktoum, Emirates will continue to operate the aircraft “well into the 2030s.”
Emirates had ordered 70 A350s before, but cancelled the deal in 2014. The future of Emirates’ 2017 commitment for 40 Boeing 787-10s is now unclear: “We continue to evaluate our fleet options, including the 787,” the airline said…